As I’ve talked about in recent posts, it is hugely important to know where it is you are going in order for you to get anywhere—at least, get anywhere in a reasonable fashion and be able to maintain the results. Wanting to ‘lose weight’ is not a positive-oriented goal. I say this for three reasons. 1. How many things in your life do you associate a positive perspective with when losing something (I guarantee the negative association way more outweighs any positive ones)? 2. Focusing on the thing you don’t want (the weight, body fat, love handles, pain, tightness, etc.) only causes your brain to look for more of it as your brain tries to find matches to what it is you are focused upon. 3. If you don’t know where you are going how are you going to measure success?
This last one is a big one. I ask this of all my clients when they come to see me—whether that is for changing their body or working on an ache or pain (MAT). I ask my clients how they will know if what we are doing is successful (how will they measure this?) and almost every single client tells me that the problem will no longer be there. The pain will be gone, they won’t have a flabby belly, etc. They have no clue what would be in its place. They don’t know where they would end up if they weren’t where they currently are any longer. This is a huge problem.
This is a huge problem because in order to look to see if your problem is going away you have to associate with the problem (don’t think about the color blue), which only draws your focus once more on the problem, thus causing you to be oriented to the problem. I ask if the problem was no longer there what would be in its place and the answer is usually “nothing” or some form of the disclusion of the problem. I guess most people start with the idea that they just want the problem to be gone (good place to start). This comes from the thought that the problem is what is causing them to feel bad. If they remove the problem then they won’t feel bad anymore.
But the real reason they feel bad is for two reasons. 1. They have identified a problem, which means there has to a solution (just like you can’t have a left without a right or an up without a down). This is a good thing as this helps to determine personal preference and it helps us to grow by virtue of moving into a new solution allows us to become more than we were (all problems cause us to expand). In fact, think about most of the physical things you enjoy in your life. They were more than likely solutions to previous problems. 2. They continue to keep their focus on the problem and not the solution (the desire) that was born from the problem. This causes a sense of separation between two points of relativity—the problem and the solution (and when I say solution, it is to reference the desire born from the problem, not the solution of action to change the problem). The only reason you know this is a problem is because on some level (subconscious, unconscious level) the other side of this (the solution) exists. Because this exists, part of you has to be naturally moving toward this just as it is in our DNA to survive and move toward safety. It is in our DNA to move toward evolution and progression of our lives.
If you don’t know where you are going you won’t know what to look for while you are on your way. The more you look back to see if the problem is going away you continue to orientate yourself back to the problem. One example I usually give my clients to help illustrate this idea is thinking of driving from Chicago to Miami. If we left Chicago and at some point we noticed we were in Kentucky you would know you are on your way. You wouldn’t freak out that you are not in Miami yet as you would recognize that you are on the right path. Rather than only being 300 miles from Chicago you would see that you are only 700 miles from Miami. However, if your only barometer for success was knowing you were away from Chicago you would never really know if you were heading in the right place. Any destination would do. If you knew you were 100 miles out of Chicago you could very well be in Michigan, which was the wrong way. And when you get lost you always end up going back to the place you are most familiar.
Thinking about trying to get rid of your problem only is like putting Chicago as your destination in your GPS. You would drive around but continually end up where (or near where) you started. With that said, once you can start to identify where you would be if you eliminated the problems then you have something positive to focus upon. If had a roll on your belly and wanted to get rid of that what would the elimination of that look like? What would be in its place? A lean stomach? Flat belly? Firm abs? When you know what your final destination is you will then have things to look for. Like looking for your abs to become more firm. If you can spend more time every day looking for evidence of where you are going than focusing on where you are coming from then you will cause your brain to shift into solution mode. This mode will help you resonate with the success, which will help to inspire your actions like exercise, foods choices and things that consistent with someone who is successful. In this case, you will be training your brain to think like someone who is successful, rather than identifying the things that are unsuccessful.